Author: billyfreeze

The Bizarre Foods of Mexico

It was lunch time and I was meandering through the San Juan Mercado in Mexico City looking for weird foods to try. I was a little nervous because most of the comestibles I’d heard about were outside of my eating comfort zone. Before I could even navigate past a few stalls, menus were being offered from several of the miniature restaurants tucked in the corners of the market. There was an iguana on the cover of one of them, so I figured that might be the right place to get started. I sat down with my taxi driver, my Spanish translator  app, and began...

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In Search of the Lost Ark…

Some of my friends chide me about my world travels and refer to me as Indiana Jones. Maybe it’s the hat I wear when I’m traveling, my bizarre adventures or seemingly near death experiences that I always seem to escape from unscathed. If you saw Raiders of the Lost Ark you probably know that  Indiana Jones had to journey across the world to get near the Ark of the Covenant, and still never really saw it. Well, that’s one more thing we have in common! Ethiopians claim that the ark was never lost, as is believed by most historians, but has been in their country...

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The Time I Almost Drowned in Mexico

I could see land on both sides of me, but either way was too far for me to swim. My arms were tired, my throat was hoarse from shouting and I didn’t have a life jacket. It turns out that the reason they put those orange padded things on the boat is so that you’ll wear them and not end up drinking sea water and having your life flash before your eyes like me. Who knew? I always thought of them as a fashion inconvenience made for the kind of people who wear Segway helmets. I’d usually shuck the orange...

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How To Buy Souvenirs Like a Pro

I’ve been shopping today. It’s my final day in Ethiopia and I’ve been buying everything from refrigerator magnets to an Amharic Bible that looks like a prop from an Indiana Jones film. As I have been popping in and out of various shops, I’ve seen a handful of inexperienced tourists attempting to buy souvenirs. It’s sometimes painful for me to see fellow countrymen failing to understand how to shop in a country that has a different set of rules than what they’re used to. Often tourists will pay too much, get angry or treat the shop owners condescendingly if...

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Keeping Your Sanity When Travel Goes Bad

Right now I’m in the airport of Addis Ababa waiting for the Ethiopian Airline rep to come back from wherever she went with my passport. I just finished a USA Today crossword puzzle and now I’m writing this. It keeps me sane when bad things happen during travel. You see, I’m supposed to be leaving for the Seychelles in an hour, one of the most exotic destinations in the world. The problem? I don’t have a piece of paper that proves I’ve had a Yellow Fever vaccination and guess what? Seychelles requires a piece of paper that proves I’ve...

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